Author Topic: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600  (Read 4548 times)

Mr SQL

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BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« on: March 28, 2016, 08:36:33 am »
Virtual World BASIC is a compiled BASIC for the Atari 2600 VCS with a soft bit-blitter chip! :)

The designers of the Amia bit-blitter had prototyped a soft blitter on an Apple II which used the same microprocessor as the VCS.

The soft blitter lets you pan the camera about a virtual world while the sprite engines are all moving around and everything moves along with it with a dynamically changing background image at 30 FPS of full screen animation.

Here is the download site http://relationalframework.com/vwBASIC.htm with two videos of new bit-blitter games for the VCS and the BASIC and source code.
 

Offline John

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 06:50:51 pm »
Welcome to the All BASIC forum!


Do you run this BASIC in an emulator?


Mr SQL

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 08:24:01 pm »
Welcome to the All BASIC forum!


Do you run this BASIC in an emulator?
Thank you! :)

Yes this BASIC gets compiled into a format compatible with Atari 2600 emulators like Stella, though the games look better on the real hardware.

Here is the BASIC listing for StarBlitz illustrating the bit-blitter operations in markup on the Pouet demoscene:
http://www.pouet.net/prod_nfo.php?which=66991


The blitter operations are all surfaced to the BASIC with intuitive commands.s


Offline John

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 08:35:51 pm »
Quote
though the games look better on the real hardware.

You mean there is someone else out there besides yourself with real hardware?  ;D

Mr SQL

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 07:39:26 am »

LOL! :) Many folks indeed have a real Atari for playing the games because the hybrid-analog hardware looks really good on an old-school Television and can't be emulated that well yet (mostly the Television that can't be emulated) .

There's actually still a pretty big BASIC programming scene for the Atari with four BASIC programming languages available:

Basic Programming Cart (1979)
Compumate expansion Module with full keyboard, Microsoft BASIC and 2K of RAM
bAtari BASIC compiler (4k - 64k games with options for modern processors in the cart)
Virtual World BASIC compiler (6K bit-blitter games, 1982 technology only)

wangrenxin

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 06:46:59 pm »
Hi Mr SQL,

Welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing the retro memory, I like old school stuffs too.

Just for curious, which BASIC programming device has a greatest impact in your region, Atari, Apple II or Commodore?

Mr SQL

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 02:01:34 pm »
Hi Mr SQL,

Welcome to the forum. Thank you for sharing the retro memory, I like old school stuffs too.

Just for curious, which BASIC programming device has a greatest impact in your region, Atari, Apple II or Commodore?
Thank you! :)
All of those did - the initial TRS-80 made the biggest impact first with it's Tiny BASIC, right after (and styled after) the Altair along with the Microsoft BASIC upgrade. Then the Apple and the Atari and the Commodore PET shared the same space. And that was just the 70's :)

I think they stayed competitive through the 80's though many other interesting BASIC in ROM machines appeared with notable impact before disappearing.

What region are you from and which BASIC machine had the biggest impact there?


wangrenxin

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Re: BASIC programming with a bit-blitter on the Atari 2600
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2016, 06:39:54 pm »
What a golden age of BASIC, Mr. SQL! I've wrote my story in the Basic & Me thread.